How To Put On The Best Christmas Lunch Without Even Going To The Grocery Store

We tested the menu. And it is sublime!


Amy Hopkins |

Here’s how to make a delicious Christmas lunch without even going to the shops – and cutting down on wastage!

Here at WH, we’re all busy women who’re big fans of cutting down unnecessary stress. And the festive season comes with a bucket load of that! Queues for days! Traffic! Shops running out of ingredients and prezzies that you desperately need…

So when one of our fave local start-ups, UCOOK launched their Festive Menu, we dived in to test!

READ MORE: Two Super-Busy Women Tried UCOOK — Here’s How It Changed Their Lives

Here’s how it works: you choose from a selection of starters, sides, mains and dessert, place your order for the number of people expected at your festive gathering, pay and sit back, relax and get on with your life. It’s from R1 440 for 4 people, up to R3 600 for 12 people… And it all comes with neat/cool packaging, perfectly portioned ingredients and simple instructions which you can divvy out to the whole family!

Orders can be placed until midday 11 December and will be delivered to your doorstep on 22, 23 or 24 December.

WH Tests It

Our ed, Dan Weakley, gave the menu a test run at home with her kids!

“It’s not unusual for me to feel like a domestic goddess a la Nigella Lawson when I’ve whipped through my regular UCOOK box, but nothing could have prepared me for the Christmas Feast Box. A few things you need to know in advance: I’m a big fan of mindlessly cooking the same thing again and again until someone in my family rallies a revolt. Also, I firmly believe that Christmas should be in July so that I can eat all the roast potatoes I like without imagining anyone from S.W.E.A.T.1000 reminding me that ‘summer is coming’. Finally, I love company when I cook. All this conspires to make me what is commonly known in the biz as The Ideal Target Market. And you will be too.”

The Box

“The Feast Box is a stroke of genius. In a nutshell, it works like your regular UCOOK subscription, but instead of meals, you’re choosing dishes – choose one of two starters, one of four mains and four sides plus a killer Eton Mess or, as they call it, Eat ‘n Mess. I don’t mind what they called it – it was sensational.

“My box – bless them! – was delivered for tasting purposes on a Wednesday night after I rolled through the door much later than anticipated, so I will confess that Christmas came early for everyone because my daughters – thoroughly delighted by this point in the proceedings – had the Eat ‘n Mess for starters. If that ain’t Christmas spirit, I don’t know what is?!”

Making The Food

“I worked my way through the spinach-and-ricotta ravioli, which is sublime, thanks to the addition of sage and walnuts, and I opted for Franck’s pork belly with pine needles and jus. Ready for another confession? I had never thrown pine needles into anything before, let alone my oven dishes. It looked totes festive! Winning!

“I also had the pleasure of sampling the roast chicken, which I wouldn’t have selected, because I believe that my 1001 Ways With Chicken have adequately prepared me for any kind of chicken – festive or otherwise – but it was pretty damn fine.

“And then there are the sides… At almost midnight on that quiet Wednesday night, the sides were splendidly indulgent: maple-glazed baby carrots, duck-fat roasted potatoes, brulee onions (who doesn’t brulee their holiday onions?!) and – sweet mercy, for the lazy cooks – a green salad.

“We feasted late into the night. It was easy, glorious, abundant and no one was in a sweat. In fact, all the shepherds and wise men were looking pretty pleased with themselves – although that could have been the meringues and berries that started things. I ordered a festive box for eight the very next morning. And you should too.”

PS! WH readers get a 15% discount! Use the promo code: #womenshealthfeast

READ MORE ON: Nutrition Nutrition Advice